The grocery space is rapidly changing, especially when it comes to tackling its biggest competitor—restaurants.
So, what happens when Chicago-based Dom’s Kitchen & Market and Avli Restaurant Group cross paths? The proverbial “if you can’t beat them, join them” takes hold.
Dom’s Kitchen & Market announced on Monday its exclusive partnership with Avli Restaurant Group that will wed the restaurant group’s Greek to-go meals, spreads, Greek salad, soup and select private-label Avli wines to both Dom's Kitchen & Market locations in the Windy City starting Tuesday, the grocery retailer said in a statement.
“Avli is an ideal partner for Dom’s because our missions are so closely aligned—providing globally inspired food that is elevated but accessible,” said James Klewin, Dom’s executive chef, in a statement. “Avli is bringing modern Greek to Chicagoland, and we are excited to be a part of it,”
Curated by Avli River North’s Executive Chef Panos Chalikiopoulos, the meals available at the grocer include: vegetarian mushroom moussaka, $14.99; stuffed eggplant, $11.99; shrimp + orzo, $15.99; salmon + farro, $15.99; spicy feta dip, $5.99; smoky eggplant dip, $5.99; lemon egg soup, $6.99; a Greek saladwithGreek feta, romaine, tomato, red onion, peppers, Kalamata olives, and red wine vinaigrette for $11.50, and select Avli wines.
“We are very excited for this next stage of growth for Avli and the partnership with Dom’s,” said Louie Alexakis, Avli founder and partner, in a statement. “We already have a strong relationship with many of the shoppers that are coming through the door at Dom’s and this partnership allows us to further provide them with the quality meals they're looking for, while expanding the Avli brand."
The partnership proves that not only are the lines beginning to blur between restaurant and grocery, but retail foodservice is not going away anytime soon. Post-pandemic, an FMI survey conducted last year finds the U.S. food industry is investing heavily in customer experience amid economic volatility.
“A major trend that has emerged from the pandemic is shoppers are looking for fresher, healthier, more convenient options at their grocery store,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI—The Food Industry Association. “Food retailers have absorbed this feedback and are making great strides to create both online and in-person shopping destinations that cater to shoppers’ evolving tastes.”
The survey found that food retailers are focusing on investments in new technologies (73%) like foodservice ordering and delivery, dynamic pricing and mobile checkout systems.
“The streams of retail and grocery continue to run together,” Jimmy MacMillan, principal pastry chef consultant for Dom’s Kitchen & Market, told WGB at the grand opening of the grocer’s Old Town neighborhood location last fall. “Customers want high-end offerings and Dom’s Kitchen & Market has leveled up the attention to detail 100%.”